Burkina Faso president returns as coup appears to end
Kafando to resume overseeing transition to democracy after personal guard release him
Burkina Faso acting president Michel Kafando: He said he was back in charge and would resume overseeing a transition to democracy. Photograph: Ahmed Yempabou/EPA
Burkina Faso’s president, Michel Kafando, said yesterday he was back in charge and would resume overseeing a transition to democracy, as a coup last week by soldiers in his personal guard who briefly took him hostage appeared to have ended.
Mr Kafando addressed his supporters and west African leaders who flew to the capital of the west African state to negotiate an end to the putsch in which troops under Gen Gilbert Diendere briefly took power.
Gen Diendere greeted the heads of state from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and Niger at the airport earlier in the day, giving the impression he was still in charge, but he did not attend the ceremony at a conference centre at which Mr Kafando spoke.
National elections due on October 11th are meant to mark a return to democracy a year after demonstrators toppled president Blaise Compaore as he attempted to extend his 27-year rule.
Mr Kafando’s task was to guide the country to that vote in a process seen as a beacon for democratic hopes in Africa. – (Reuters)